a story by Apryl Lowe
Lord Lucian lived in a beautiful manor house in the countryside. His coffers were filled with gold and silver, silks and spices, and the finest jewels in the land. The rooms of the house were filled with art, beautifully crafted furniture, Persian carpets, silken walls, ancient artefacts and heavy leather bound books.
In the gallery hung a series of portraits men and women, the men were all darkly handsome and beside each man, a woman with sad eyes dressed in rubies and silver.
A young servant fell in love with his master’s bride to be. He wooed her with roses, and peppermint creams. He asked her to run away with him and she agreed.
He crept into his master’s chamber and stole a necklace of black metal and glittering diamonds.
The young man wrapped the necklace of diamonds around her slender neck. Together the young lovers ran through the twists and turns of the great house. They ran and ran but each turn brought them back to the same hall, the same carved door at the end of the house, the master’s bedroom.
The door opened on silent hinges and as it did so the servant’s bride collapsed to the floor fingers digging at her pale neck, colour fading from her cheeks, terror shined in her eyes.
The diamonds around her neck bit deep, a thousand glittering teeth biting into pale flesh. Drops of crimson blood dripped down her neck as the necklace cut deeper, the diamonds colouring the pale pink of new dawn. Her lover pulled at the necklace, rough fingers tearing at the delicate necklace. He watched with silent horror as the life bled out of his love.
The diamonds turned to blood rubies. He held his bride’s cold body crying silent tears. Lord Lucian stepped from the shadows, silver and black cane glinting in the muted light before it crashed down onto the servant’s head. Lucian laughed as he tore the glistening ruby necklace from the bride’s throat.
As the servant lay in a growing pool of blood, his fingers grasping at his bride’s cold fingers. Lord Lucian opened the door at the end of the hall. The room behind was bathed in light, in a chair sat a woman in a white silken gown, her long golden hair piled atop her head, pale skin, sunken eyes that stared lifelessly at the servant. The corpse bride’s paper dry lips were peeled back in a pearly white smile.
Lucian stepped behind his bride and wrapped the gleaming ruby strand around her lifeless neck. A whispering noise filled the room, a sound of dry leaves and death, the sound of the corpse bride laughing. And as the corpse laughed the blood drained from the stones, until once more diamonds shone and the corpse flesh filled out, golden hair shining in the candle light, black eyes shining, skin a delicate cream, cheeks a delicate rose. Lord Lucian kissed his beautiful laughing bride as the light faded from the servant’s eyes.